Reynolds joined a chorus of conservative voices in expressing opposition to the CDC’s latest masking advice.
On Tuesday, health officials announced that even if someone is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, they should still wear masks in public and when in indoor spaces with other people if they happen to be in an area where there is evidence of “substantial or high transmission.”
The agency also recommended children in school all be masked as well, another proposal that has been highly controversial across party lines.
In a statement responding to the new guidance, Reynolds dismissed masks as being the answer to rising cases around the country and promoted vaccines as the best way to curb upticks in infections.
“I’m concerned that this guidance will be used as a vehicle to mandate masks in states and schools across the country, something I do not support,” she said, adding that the latest guidance is “not grounded in reality or common sense.”
Multiple cities have already seen mask mandates come back despite vaccines being readily available across the country, including Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky defended the new mask guidance by stating that officials believe vaccinated people infected with the delta variant could still spread it to others.
There are 47 counties in Iowa that have been identified by the CDC as having “high” or “substantial” transmissions. Like numerous other states, Iowa has seen hospitalizations from the coronavirus tick up in the last month. Vaccine demand has also slowed in the last month, with around 49% of the state being vaccinated.
“I trust Iowans to do the right thing,” Reynolds said of her state’s vaccination rate, making clear she has and will continue to push back against any “government mandates in our schools and government.”
Other Republican governors have begun dismissing the CDC’s new guidance, as well. Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas), one of the first to move his state out of its pandemic-era lockdown, released a statement through his office on Tuesday declaring that “the time for government mandating masks is over.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida) has similarly shown resistance. His press secretary, Christina Pushaw, told Fox News on Tuesday that the new guidance “isn’t based in science.”
“Mandating masks for vaccinated people erodes public trust and confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccines,” she said.
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